Today is International Women’s Day! I am sure you can imagine by now that I am a big fan of days where we women are celebrating how badass and amazing we are. Women are just amazing, and that needs to always be celebrated! When I was at TK, my therapist JD printed me out a poem by Rupi Kaur. The words are such a stunning reminder of what is important in someone’s soul and heart.
These words, when I first read them, moved me in such a profound way. These were words that I needed to hear. Years ago, I was struggling with my body image and I reached out to an older friend of mine. She told me that she did not choose friends based on looks and that true friends/loved ones/etc. love you because of your soul and spirit, not because of how you look. Over the years, I have come to recognize how true this is. When I tell others that someone is beautiful…I tell them about the other person’s strength, resiliency, braveness, personality, wit, charm, humor, kindness, quirks, etc. The women that I admire most are not women who look flawlessly beautiful on the outside, but women who are strong and resilient. I admire women who have walked through hell and back and come out stronger. I admire women who lift other women up instead of being influenced by society telling them that girl-on-girl hate is simply part of society.
I love how in the last line it says, “Not because I don’t think you’re pretty, but because you are much more than that.” I love this because there is so much truth behind that fact that we are allowed to appreciate someone’s gorgeous flowing hair, their sparkling eyes, the curves of their body, and the smoothness of their skin. We are allowed to notice these things because our outside appearance is a part of who we are. It is our vehicle that we use to navigate through life and it is the tool that shows others who we are. However, we are much more than a shell of a body. We are allowed to lose our bodies. We are allowed to feel pretty, beautiful, strong, sexy, etc. However, out bodies are only one aspect of who we are. The important thing to remember is not that we should not only see beauty in our outside appearance but that we should honor all the ways and reasons that we are beautiful.
I am still learning to see my beauty beyond my weight and what I see in the mirror. I am working on being able to acknowledge the other ways that I am beautiful. My heart is starting to race as I think about these things. My eating disorder likes to bully me and tell me that I do not deserve to love myself. I struggle with guilt about admitting that sometimes I do feel confident about who I am. However, I am going to write the reasons why I am beautiful outside of my looks and body….*deep breath*
I am a sweetheart because I have a kind and compassionate heart. I am choosing to be a social worker and to dedicate my life to helping others. I am interesting and sometimes even funny because of my quick wit and intelligence. I use these qualities to help problem solve about the world around me and to make others laugh. I am bold and brave. My bravery means that I can engage with others and engage with the people around me. It means that I can rise beyond hard circumstances. I am resilient because I have survived all that I have been through.
We should not be ashamed, as women, to feel confident about ourselves and how phenomenal we are. Society has tried to beat us down to believe that self-love is not ok for a lady. Do not listen to those lies. We deserve to love ourselves and celebrate others and ourselves. Please, speak up for your fellow sisters, praise each other and fight for us to bond together, do not let us be left behind men because we have changed the world and we have the ability to change it even more.